What I’ve Learned From Theater

“I regard theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” ~ Oscar Wilde

I don’t write about this very often, but I teach theater classes at my local community college. It’s a part-time job and for the most part I love it. I mean what can be more fun than watching student actors develop skills in listening, communication, and confidence? Or watching plays and movies and discussing them, or putting together a play production. It can be a lot of work, but doing theater is extremely satisfying as well.

Of course there are times when there is a little too much drama, but since I’m home alone and quiet most of the week, I can’t really complain.

In acting class, which is what I’m teaching this semester, I don’t go into great detail about different acting methods because I’m a firm believer that, when it comes to acting, you learn best by doing. (I think that’s true of other artistic endeavors as well, like writing.)

To get my students started, I tell them that they need to read the lines and listen to what each character is saying. I want them to listen not just to the words but the emotions and motivations of the characters as well. I suggest that they listen to each other and react or respond as if their partner were talking directly to them. Once I started using this method, I found that not only did my students relax, they also did better on their scenes. I think they were relieved that I wasn’t requiring them to do Oscar winning performances to get a good grade in the class.

I also tell them that acting is one of those disciplines in which you can always learn something new. I have heard older actors and directors say that they keep working because they are still learning and they have more stories to tell. Artists in other disciplines often say the same thing. Learning and working on their art feeds their soul.

In my opinion, if we’re going to embark on a creative endeavor, it’s best to just jump in and begin. As we do the acting, or painting, or writing, we might need to take some classes, but really being creative is an inside job. My creative expression is not going to be the same as yours because we each have a unique perspective on life.

So, if you have time, take some kind of art class, because it’s a great way to learn more about yourself. I’ve seen it happen so many times: My students gain confidence in themselves, and develop deeper empathy just by being creative.

That’s all for today. I hope you don’t mind if there are mistakes, we’ve been out and about with my in-laws. Oh, and we have water again. I’m very grateful for that.

Thanks for reading, commenting and liking. I appreciate that very much.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel. It’s available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Published by lucindasagemidgorden

I grew up in the West, the descendant of people traveling by wagon train to a new life. Some of their determination and wanderlust became a part of me. I imagine them sitting around the campfire telling stories, which is why I became first a theatre artist, then a teacher and now a writer. They are all ways of telling stories.

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